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Change freaks us out, probably even more than public speaking, but it’s the sort of amorphous issue that we don’t think about because it manifests itself subtly in so many ways. Whether a relationship starts or ends, you’re moving, you’ve got a new job, or you’ve lost someone you love. Change, whether it’s good or bad, causes stress. Here’s how my therapist taught me how to handle it without losing your mind.
“Change” is a broad term, and it can apply to many things. Perhaps you’re just moving to a new home or starting a new job, or something awful happens like a death in the family. These events may seem black and white, and not necessarily similar, but they all require adjustment in the way you conduct your day-to-day life. These adjustments cause stress, even when they’re positive. Conversely, negative changes can yield positive results. You never know exactly what you’re going to get, which often frightens us. Coping with change well, rather than losing your mind, only requires an adjustment on your outlook and a little evidence of surviving various circumstances. In this post, I’ll talk about why your brain resists change and how you can actually change that, based off of what I learned in therapy.
I’ve been through some pretty big changes in my life, but I’m no professional. Learning to live life without the use of drugs was and still is a HUGE challenge for me. I had to adjust to the real everyday world. I had to feel what feelings felt like. I’m not gonna lie, it’s scary!! So with what I’ve learned, I’ll tell you my best methods of coping. For our purposes, let’s define change as “a modification to a person’s environment, situation, or physical/mental condition that results in circumstances that challenge their existing paradigms.” What our definition implies is that humans have a tendency to define how their world is supposed to work. Whenever something happens in our personal world or to our own being that is inconsistent with the way we feel the world should be, we encounter change.
Change comes in many forms in our daily lives. Everyone experiences the pains of being young through puberty and later the pains of being old through inevitable medical issues. We get married, graduate from school, switch careers several times, move across the country, get in terrible accidents, lose our parents, discover hobbies we love that we never knew about, and sometimes even achieve our dreams. Even though we can attribute a default emotion (e.g. happy, sad) to many of these broad examples, my therapist notes that the event isn’t the only thing that affects how we handle both “good” and “bad” change.
The important thing to keep in mind is that there is a continuum between “positive” and “negative” so not all changes are easily codified as good or bad. In fact, other psychological factors (such as one’s temperament, mood, and global IQ) can affect how a person codifies a change along the positive-negative continuum. On top of that, the event itself often doesn’t affect whether or not we feel stress. If anything changes, good or bad, stress will probably result. Any time we are confronted by an event that is inconsistent with our core beliefs, we will likely feel some level of stress.
The interesting thing is that stress also represent “good” things like dating, marriage, or vacations. In other words, even good change is stressful. When trying to understand how change affects us, we mostly need to look at three things: 1) the situation itself, 2) our mood/temperament, and 3) how others may affect us.
Give yourself permission to freak out on your own time and then find ways to move forward positively. This is the most difficult thing to keep in mind and to put into practice because the psychological distress caused by some changes can make having an optimistic outlook feel like an impossible task. That’s okay. Do all the crying, kicking, and screaming you need to do; then start to seek out ways to make your new situation more livable and enjoyable. Fixating on what was lost as a result of the change will prevent us from experiencing the good things that our new circumstances can bring us. In the case of the loss of a loved one, making the best of the present would mean processing our emotional pain and working on developing an outlook that allows for renewed hope in the future and the possibility of happiness.
After enough regular practice, managing change won’t feel like such a fearful burden. Shifting gears is rarely easy, but it isn’t supposed to be. With practice you’ll get better and it won’t feel like you’re hit with a stress bomb every time your life takes a different turn. The only way the fear and stress will disappear is if you calm down an embrace the unknown. ~CTW~
Each day I will detail an illness. Some of them you’ve heard of some you haven’t but the most important thing is we recognize some of them. One illness is greater than the other just some for more information.
OCD is a neurologically based disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions) that the child realizes are senseless. OCD may start at age five or six, sometimes even earlier. OCD results from a deficiency of a neurotransmitter, serotonin, in specific areas of the brain. (New research suggests that the more severe forms of the condition, in which obsessive thoughts “lock” and cannot be relieved, involve more than a neurotransmitter shortfall.) OCD is treated with an SSRI, which increases serotonin levels in the brain.
Obsessions can take many forms: repetitive words, thoughts, fears, memories, pictures. Compulsive behaviors, such as hand-washing, counting, checking, or cleaning, are performed in hope…
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As I am writing this I’m standing in an open field under gray skies small pellets of water coating my arms. The smell of fair food, musty cologne fill the air, country music blaring through blown out speakers; my daughter is currently 10 ft in the air being thrusted into circles on swings. I bet you are wondering what the hell being at a fair as to do with the perks of being bipolar and how am I tending to my daughter at the same time. Bipolar perks people. If you weren’t aware your mental illness comes with perks other people don’t possess. I don’t know the exact medical terms for these but you will get my point.
🖤 Hyper-focus- the ability to hyper focus when used correctly can produce amazing results. I’ve abused my hyper focus when I was manic or self destructive behavior but over the last year…
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She was twelve
They were twelve
They were in lust
She was in pain
They were more learned
Than she was
She was more human
Than all of them combined
She was screaming . . . .
They were laughing
She now rests in the hands of God
Their fates resided in the hands of Lady Justice
Themis herself was nothing but a statue
She was not served with blind justice, but
The justice was blind to her
This world was biased
The next world will serves them right I guess because
In the next world she’s safe and an angel In the garden of God
While they will be punished for God is not blind
They will lie in the firey pit
In the bed of worms
Enjoying the ecstacy of pain
For all of eternity.
© The Rendezvous Club
All Rights Reserved!
By Dr. Perry, PhD
“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” ~Thomas Kempis
Many of us attempt to do the impossible on a daily basis. In an effort to prove that we have control over our lives we try to control everything in our environment including the people around us. Essentially, we are trying to control our inner life by controlling the external world. The world is seen as predominately unsafe and unstable unless we are in complete control. This view may be a reflection of the inner chaos and fear that we may be suppressing. Over time, our inner conflicts will begin to seep out and manifest itself in a number of ways. Perhaps you mask your need for control by micromanaging your spouse or in the rigidity of your child’s after-school schedule…
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